April 15th, 2013
05:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama makes statement on Boston bombings

(CNN)– President Barack Obama said he ordered the "full resources" of the federal government to respond to the Boston bombings on Monday, and that he also called for increased security around the United States as necessary.

"We still do not know who did this or why," he said from the Brady Press Briefing Room, cautioning people against jumping to conclusions. "But make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this."

Any individuals or groups responsible for the "senseless" bombing, he added, will "feel the full weight of justice."

"The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight," he said.

Notably absent from his remarks was the word "terror," though federal investigators are classifying the bombings as a terror event. It is not clear if it's from a domestic or foreign source, a federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said.

Full transcript: Obama reacts to 'senseless' bombings

"Today is a holiday in Massachusetts, Patriot's Day. It's a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation, and it's a day that draws the world to Boston's streets in a spirit of friendly competition," he said. "Boston is a tough and resilient town, so are its people. I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city and as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way."

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with FBI Director Robert Mueller to receive an update on the explosions that occurred in Boston, in the Oval Office, April 15, 2013. Seated with the President are Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

After Obama's statement, a White House official said "any event with multiple explosive devices – as this appears to be – is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror."

"However, we don’t yet know who carried out this attack, and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign or domestic," the official continued.

According to the president's Facebook page, an organized call-in event scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed.

"Due to the events at the Boston Marathon, we are postponing tomorrow's National Call Day on gun violence prevention. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Boston," his Facebook stated.

The event, run by the advocacy group Organizing for Action, would have organized supporters to call their senators and urge them to support the current gun legislation bill.

Over on Capitol Hill, House Speaker John Boehner led a moment of silence on the House floor for victims in Boston.

House Speaker John Boehner talks to President Barack Obama on the phone Monday around 5:30 p.m. ET.

And a press conference to roll out the so-called Gang of Eight's immigration plan has also been postponed, according to Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.

Vice President Joe Biden, meanwhile, was on a conference call earlier in the day about the Senate legislation to combat gun violence when he heard about the explosions.

"As I'm speaking here, they just turned on the television in my office and apparently there has been a bombing– I don't know any of the details of what caused it, who did it–I don't think it exists yet but our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injuries," he said. "I don't know how many of them there are. I'm looking at it on television now."

- CNN's Tom Cohen, Jessica Yellin and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (417 Responses)
  1. gerry

    There is much to hate about president benghazi.

    April 15, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Joe Biden

    “Boston, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out, put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you, whoever’s coming in is not going to.”

    April 15, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Old White Consevative Male

    During 911 the country united in less than an hour to avenge those that hurt us. Now it happens again and there is pure hate on all sides of the political spectrum. This is because the idiot occupying the white house has divided us beyond hope. Wake up people.

    April 15, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. proudinfidel

    Just waiting for the speech to be loaded into the teleprompter

    April 15, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. communist47

    Congress should change this week legislative agenda from gun violence to bomb violence.

    April 15, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. bones327

    photo-op, check

    April 15, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. Peacelove

    will the statement be available to watch online? Such a sad day for those people. My heart goes out to them all.

    April 15, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. Name willard

    I keep praying for family at boston

    April 15, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. Steve Allard

    If the president gets involved you complain, if he doesn't you complain. I see a pattern here.

    April 15, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. PJ

    @maximusvad........."are Americans really as ignorant and hateful as you".
    No, they are not. Some are just so unhappy with themselves they have to blame everybody else. Some are just
    show-offs and don't care that they make no sense, and some really are as....................................
    Regardless, they are angry because they are losing every argument. The louder they scream, the more
    desperate they are to be relevant, and it isn't working for them.

    April 15, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  11. Holly Berry

    Wasn't the controlled-detonated bomb right across the street from the JFK library 5 miles away from the marathon finish line? Why hasn't the media tried to cover that site?

    April 15, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. zeebo

    Just what we need ! Another speech !

    April 15, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. DB

    The people of the world need to know that it is not the citizens of the USA that are so bad and create all kinds of problems overseas. It is our political representatives that create the mess, the problems, authorize the killings, create the wars or police actions what ever you want to call them. Instead of turning their rath against the American public they should redirect it where it does the most good and gets the most attention. I am not advocating killing anyone but exposing what our political leaders do to the world has more effect than anything.

    April 15, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. Mavent

    re: "just askin": Republicans feed on hate the way vampires feed on blood.

    April 15, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. Bobbie Jo Justice

    maybe we should solve this problem by making bombs illegal.

    I thought the department of homeland stupidity was supposed to cause, oops, sorry, of course I mean prevent these kinds of things from happening.

    April 15, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. theINDEPENDENTone

    Back from Golfing?

    April 15, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Dennis

    Obama said we will get to the bottom of this and hold those responsible accountable.
    Isn't this the same language we heard about the attack on Benghazi?
    How many time does he think this line will work and the American people will buy it?

    April 15, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. tarura

    Don't jump to conclusion, it's a workplace violence, like Ft.Hood

    April 15, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. just answerin

    @just askin. If they hadn't issued that statement you would be slamming them for not doing anything.

    April 15, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. LR

    Oh come one! There were bombings...people were hurt...people were killed. Save the childish, ignorant, biased comments for another forum.

    April 15, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. Brian

    Ban bombs.

    April 15, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  22. EMcK

    @just askin – As opposed to say . . . Dubya who sat in a classroom and read books to children with a disinterested look on his face for 7 minutes after being informed that planes had crashed in the World Trade Center right?

    April 15, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. Astounded

    Quick! Photo Op!

    'cause that's what's important right now....

    April 15, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  24. David

    "just asking gets the prize for pointless dumb and pointless comment of the day. Twisted by hate.

    "President Barack Obama said he ordered the "full resources" of the federal government to respond to the Boston bombings on Monday, and that he also called for increased security around the United States as necessary."

    April 15, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. JohnW

    What? Something bad happened and he made a statement about it? And he said that they're going to do stuff they should be doing? What a jerk!

    See how dumb that sounds, just askin?

    April 15, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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